Four honored at SF State's opening faculty meeting

SF State held its annual opening faculty meeting Monday, during which four distinguished faculty members were honored and President Les Wong challenged the entire faculty to join him in "set[ting] the standard by which other universities will define their own identity."

A photo of President Les Wong delivering remarks during the opening faculty meeting in McKenna Theatre.

President Les Wong delivers remarks during the opening faculty meeting in McKenna Theatre on Aug. 25.

"Our past is a rich one steeped in intellectual excellence, passionate activism, community strength and a focus on students first," Wong said. "Our future is no different."

Wong outlined his priorities for the coming year, including moving forward on the University's new strategic plan, defending academic freedom, embarking on SF State's first comprehensive fundraising campaign and hiring faculty members.

During the meeting, new faculty members and administrative leaders were welcomed, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Sue V. Rosser presented the Distinguished Faculty Awards. The awards, given annually since 2007, highlight exceptional faculty accomplishments. Honorees receive a $4,000 stipend for the Excellence in Teaching awards and a $3,000 stipend for the Excellence in Service and Excellence in Professional Achievement awards.

The Academic Senate organizes the annual opening faculty meeting, held at the beginning of each academic year. Academic Senate Chair Trevor Getz addressed attendees, as did Sheila Tully, president of the SF State chapter of the California Faculty Association.


Excellence in Teaching Award (Tenured/Tenure-Track) - Sophie Clavier,

Photo of Associate Professor and Chair of International Relations Sophie Clavier.During an 18-year career at SF State, Associate Professor and Chair of International Relations Sophie Clavier has exemplified the University's mission to prepare students to be engaged members of the global community. Her classes employ Socratic dialogues that tackle the world's most pressing issues, challenging students to develop their own viewpoints. Outside the classroom, she is available for advising; supports students during internships; arranges for ambassadors and foreign-service officers to speak; and mentors students in their search for fulfilling careers. Clavier's commitment to teaching has not gone unrecognized by her students, who have honored her three times with the International Relations Student Association's Best Teacher of the Year Award. In addition, she has published widely in academic journals and presented papers at national conferences.


Excellence in Teaching Award (Lecturer) - Margaret Lynch,

Photo of Psychology Lecturer Margaret Lynch.The scope and impact of Psychology Lecturer Margaret Lynch's career have been immense. In her 28 years at SF State, she has taught 32 different courses at all levels and more than 160 sections, along with thousands of students. She developed the only lower-division community-service learning course at SF State; created and taught a course for new freshmen living on campus and majoring in behavioral and social sciences; and developed a section of general psychology that enrolls 700 students per semester, as well as a peer-tutoring program for students in that course. She has been involved in professional activities related to teaching and promoting student well-being, including serving as the faculty advisor for the Disabled Students Association, a faculty sponsor for student research and a member of the Community Service Learning Consortium. Lynch is also an SF State alum who earned her bachelor's and master's degrees as well as a teaching credential from the University.


Excellence in Service Award - Mary Beth Love,

Photo of Professor of Health Education Mary Beth Love.Through her tireless commitment to education and public health, Professor of Health Education Mary Beth Love has had a profound effect at SF State and in the wider community. As chair of the Health Education Department since 1989, she has overseen sweeping changes, including the creation of a master's of public health degree; the diversification of faculty; a strengthening of the social relevance of health-education degrees; and revisions to the curriculum to emphasize civic engagement and practice-based education. She is the co-founder and executive director of the Metro Academies Initiative, a redesign of the first two years of college for cohorts of low-income, first-generation and other under-represented students to improve learning outcomes and student success. The program has increased the graduation rates of these students dramatically and was recently named the inaugural winner of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities Most Visible Progress National Degree Completion Award. Love also devotes countless hours of service to the University on a number of committees and played a key role in the creation of SF State's Health Equity Institute. She has worked with a number of regional partners -- including City College of San Francisco, San Francisco General Hospital and the University of California, San Francisco -- on initiatives designed to improve education equity and community public health in the Bay Area and beyond.


Excellence in Professional Development Award - Ramesh Bollapragada,

Photo of Professor of Decision Sciences Ramesh Bollapragada.Professor of Decision Sciences Ramesh Bollapragada's research involves developing new models that help a variety of industries -- from supply-chain networks to service providers, manufacturers and telecommunications firms -- deliver goods to consumers. Informed by his eight years in the private sector before coming to academia, his research is closely connected to the real world. Since joining the SF State faculty in 2002, Bollapragada has published more than 16 journal articles, presented 20 papers at international conferences, reviewed more than 20 journal articles and been named twice as the College of Business Research Professor of the Year. His work has influenced regional transportation policy, helping to improve FasTrak usage and reduce traffic congestion on Bay Area highways. He has visited 25 countries on research and teaching assignments and collaborated with world-class researchers in the United States and globally in the areas of scheduling, inventory and supply-chain management and telecommunications-network planning.

Recipients of the Distinguished Faculty Awards are selected by the Academic Senate's Faculty Honors & Awards Committee, which is chaired by Associate Professor of American Indian Studies Robert Keith Collins and Professor of Biology Barry Rothman. Committee members include Dean of Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development Sacha Bunge, Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies Kenneth Monteiro, Associate Professor of Classics Michael Anderson and Associate Professor of Recreation, Parks & Tourism Erik Rosegard.

-- Jonathan Morales